What is the difference between a satisfied customer and a raving fan?
In the business world, there’s a significant difference between satisfied customers and raving fans. While a customer is defined as someone who receives good service, a product, or an idea, a “raving fan” is a whole different level of customer loyalty. Coined by Ken Blanchard, a raving fan is a customer who is so overwhelmed and delighted by the customer service they’ve experienced that they can’t help but sing praises and share their positive experiences with everyone they know.
As a dental practice or any business, the goal should be to turn your patients into raving fans who become your best advocates and refer your services to family and friends. Achieving this level of loyalty and devotion requires focusing on some key elements. Let’s explore how you can transform your satisfied customers into passionate raving fans:
Know Your Patient’s Needs: Take the time to conduct a thorough pre-clinical examination to understand your patient’s past dental experiences and address their current needs. Being patient-centric means considering your patients in every decision your business makes.
Mastering the Art of the Patient Experience: Your patients remember not just what you did or said, but how you made them feel. Your patients do not know how exquisite your margins are or that you only use the highest-grade composite they judge you on their experience. The patient experience is your product and sets you apart from competitors. So how do you make yours exceptional? When did you last walk in your patients’ shoes and experienced it through their eyes? Conduct a ‘Walk of The Patient’ and establish consistent patient experiences and clear systems for all touchpoints in the patient journey.
Reward Your Best Patients: This is a great initiative to get your team involved: have a brainstorming session at your next team meeting and come up with some ideas on how to reward your best patients. How about a ‘Patient of the Week’ award? Or how about creating a VIP Patient database? Be it a bottle of champagne, a handwritten “thank you” card or exclusive offers and rewards, no doubt your team will have countless ideas to celebrate your best patients.
Listen and Empathise: This may sound like an expectation of service but those who sharpen their skills well can tune in to more subtle aspects of behaviour and communication to really uncover and address patient needs and challenges. Gather feedback through patient surveys and actively address any gaps or concerns. Swiftly recovering from upsets and inefficiencies creates a positive impact on patient loyalty.
While new patient acquisition is essential, don’t overlook your existing loyal patients. We spend so much time and money focused on new patient acquisition, but your existing best patients (those who return every six months, are on time, accept treatment and maybe even bring in some yummy, sweet treats for the team) can be very beneficial for your business too. After all, you’ve already established a trusting and loyal relationship!
By creating an army of raving fans who genuinely love your practice, you’ll enjoy a consistent stream of new patients through word-of-mouth referrals. Instead of constantly hustling for new clients, start by focusing on how you interact with your existing patients and your phone could start ringing right off the hook.
Embrace the power of raving fans and build lasting success for your dental practice. Our new Walk of the Patient Implementation Bundle, led by ex-Practice Administrator and Coach Louise Howlett, is a transformative experience. Get your team aligned with our half-day patient journey workshop, resulting in practical actions for each department in the practice to implement. Immediately following your Walk of the Patient experience, our trainer will work one on one with practice leaders to discuss observations, recommendations, and develop the structures that will allow the team to implement the actions just learned, successfully.